Meet the MBA Class of 2023: Natalia Velasquez, Georgetown (McDonough)

Natalia Velasquez

Georgetown University, McDonough School of Business

Family-oriented, travel-loving foodie with a passion for continuous learning and creative problem-solving.”

Hometown: Brampton, Ontario, Canada

Fun Fact About Yourself: As a previous airline employee, I loved taking advantage of the flying benefits whenever I could. I would often try to squeeze as much sight-seeing into my vacations as possible and once visited 3 different countries in 4 days. I was running on zero sleep by the end, but it was one of my most memorable holidays to date!

Undergraduate School and Major: University of Waterloo, Bachelor of Science, Biochemistry

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Air Canada Vacations, Senior Commercial Analyst

What excites you most about studying in Washington, DC? Part of what drew me to the program is the fact that it is located in such a vibrant and dynamic world capital. People from all over the globe live and work in the city, contributing to its cultural diversity and adding to its rich history. I also love the idea of being at the intersection of business and politics, where opportunities in both the private and public sectors are plentiful.

Aside from your classmates and location, what was the key part of Georgetown McDonough’s MBA programming that led you to choose this business school and why was it so important to you?  During the application process, I attended many of Georgetown’s events and what really stood out to me from these interactions was Georgetown’s engaging culture and encouraging community that emphasizes Cura Personalis (care of the whole person). It was important for me to attend an institution that offered a competitive but supportive environment for my leadership development.

What course, club or activity excites you the most at Georgetown McDonough? I am most excited about the Graduate Women in Business group. I think it’s amazing that the school offers the opportunity to join an organization dedicated to empowering the next generation of female business leaders. I look forward to being able to draw from the experiences of like-minded individuals and to eventually mentor and support future students.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: As a former airline employee who worked primarily in a strategy role, navigating the COVID pandemic has been my greatest achievement in my professional career. Adapting to ever-changing market conditions and government regulations to ensure a cautious and profitable return to flying was my team’s ambitious but necessary goal. As a result of our efforts, we were able to be the first Canadian tour operator to safely restart operations.

How did COVID-19 change your perspective on your career and your life in general? I think the COVID-19 pandemic really shifted my perception of how much individual control I have over my own life. As a result, it pushed me to move forward with achieving my personal and professional goals. I realized that the best time to reach for my goals is today, instead of waiting for an unpredictable tomorrow.

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point and what do you hope to do after graduation? I’ve always known I wanted to pursue an MBA to be able to grow into an effective business leader. Although the COVID-19 pandemic slightly accelerated my plan, I felt that I was at the point in my career where I wanted (and needed) to change my professional trajectory. My goal post-graduation is to pivot into a strategic consulting role, ideally in a tech-oriented company, where I can use my transferable skills to drive innovative business solutions.

What other MBA programs did you apply to? I only applied to Georgetown McDonough. For me, it was Georgetown or nothing!

What advice would you give to help potential applicants gain admission into Georgetown McDonough’s MBA program? I would advise any potential applicants to engage with the Georgetown community before applying, whether it be through information sessions or informal coffee chats. This will give you great insight into whether you align with the culture and can provide useful information on how to tailor your application. Also, be genuine in your interactions and essays, as the admissions committee is interested in learning more about who you are as a person and how you will contribute to the class. Lastly, do not slack on the video essay as it can be more difficult than it seems and one minute goes by very quickly!


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